Confession (to Alina Osipova 1826)
I love you - though it makes me beat,
Though vain it seems, and melancholy -
Yet to this shameless, hapless folly
I'll be confessing at your feet.
It ill becomes me: that I'm older,
Time I should be more sensible...
And yet the frivolous disorder
Fills every jitter of my soul.
Say you'll be gone - I'm jaded, yawning;
You're back - I'm sad, I suffer through -
Yet how can I be clear, from owning,
My angel, all my care for you!
When off the stairs your weightless footfall,
Your dress's rustle, reaches me,
Your voice, as maidenly, as youthful -
I lose my senses instantly.
You smile at me - I'm glad, immensely;
Ignore me - and I'm sad, again;
Your pallid hand will recompense me
For the whole day of utter pain.
When you're embroidering, or setting
Your eye on something fair, or letting
Your hair amuse you - I'm beguiled;
In silence, reddening, all forgetting
I watch you like a spellbound child.
But then how wretched my existence,
How desolate my jealous pain,
When you set out into the distance
To wander in the cold and rain;
And then your solitary grievings,
Or, in the corner, twosome talks,
Or twosome piano in the evenings,
Or twosome trips, or twosome walks...
Alina! just a little mercy -
I dare not even mention love:
For sins I have been guilty of,
My angel, of your care unworthy...
But feign it! All can be achieved
By that absorbing gaze, believe me...
Oh, it takes little to deceive me -
I cannot wait to be deceived!
(tr. by Genia Gurarie, 10.95 - 4.99)
Copyright retained by Genia Gurarie.
For permission to reproduce, write personally to the translator.